StackPath CDN Review

Stackpath CDN (formerly known as MaxCDN) is a powerful content delivery network (CDN) that is easy to set up for beginners, but also offers some efficient industry-class features if you need it.

Overview

The service network has more than 50 POPs worldwide. This is a reasonable amount, but most are in North America, South America and Europe, with only four locations in Asia and two in Oceania.

However, Stockpath’s total 65TBPS transfer rate outstrips providers such as CDN77 and G-Core Labs (both claim 50TBPS).

Getting started can be as simple as specifying the root server, perhaps adjusting the DNS records and integrating the CDN into your website. Free private SSL certificates are available if you need them, support for HTTP / 2 enhances performance and revised caching.

Stackpath’s Edgerools extends the service by allowing you to customize your content delivery by adding or modifying headers, redirecting a request, adding a new cache rule, or protecting your content with a URL signature.

An efficient WAF (Web Application Firewall) box provides plenty of protection. Integrated rules block common areas of attack: SQL injection, XSS, remote file insertion, response header injections, common WordPress exploitation, and many more.

Many dangerous bots are blocked by default, but behavioral monitoring enables users to act with suspicion, and suspicious visitors may be challenged with captchas to prove they are legitimate. And if all this is not enough, you can create custom WAF rules to prevent further threats.

The support site records all of this to a reasonable level. It doesn’t have the details you get from Microsoft or Google, but it is more readable and there is enough content to be useful. But if that doesn’t help, 24/7 support is available via live chat, ticket, email and phone.

Setup

After a simple signup process, the Stockpath website redirects customers to their web panel. The graphs provide an overview of CDN traffic and WAF performance (once you’re up and running, anyway), and indicate the various functions of the left sidebar panel.

Go to the Sites area, create a new site with the domain you want to customize and you can set it up with the different settings and options of the stackpath.

You can add free private SSL certificates using the Stackpath Certificate Manager. The default cache expiration time can be set from 30 seconds to 30 days.

The query string control defines what happens to URLs, including queries (mydomain.com/action?time=now). Supported by Gzip and HTTP / 2, you can control access to your website through CORS support and the Content Continuity feature allows you to serve outdated CDN content (useful if the root server is down).

There are some unusual but welcome touches. You can specify backup and root servers, for example (useful if your server is down).

Basic Authentication support allows CDN to connect to resources that require a username and password.

Gzip support is not just a power button, you can also set the compression level to balance file size and compression time. And pushing from an HTTP / 2 server can send content to the browser before it is requested, reducing the loading time.

There are some issues and limitations. No direct brotli compression support (you can still supply it with an alternative solution); No wildcard characters are allowed when clearing the cache (although you can delete them all); Less support for applying settings to certain file types (enabling Gzip compresses txt, js, html and css files and text / * mime type, but you can’t specify anything else).

However, this service has many advanced features to compensate.

Custom Edge Rules can define their own personal delivery rules based on the request URL, header and HTTP method, as well as the status and cookie code.

Stackpath provides you with serverless scripting, a Javascript based platform that moves from your basic logic (by checking the request titles, modifying the comments or requests, making additional search requests, or responding directly to the user). The edge of the stackpath node next to the user for better performance.

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